Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe

Title: The Taken
Author: Inger Ash Wolfe
ISBN: 9780151013531
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
Hardcover, 432 pages
Genre: Police Procedural, #2 Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef mystery
Rating: A+
Source: Amazon Vine

First Line: Glynnis Pedersen's house was full of clocks.

Sixty-something Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef is not having the best of years. She's had major back surgery, and there was no alternative but she move into her ex-husband's basement and have his new wife take care of her. Just as she's beginning to think about getting back to work in order to salvage some of her sanity, her mother flushes her stash of painkillers down the toilet. It's almost a blessing when Hazel's informed that the body of a woman has been found in a local lake. What makes the discovery strange is that the local paper has just published the first installment of a story in which the details are eerily similar. In no time at all, Hazel finds herself caught up in a game concocted by someone who knows how to convince her to re-open a cold case... someone who knows that, once she gets started, Hazel will not stop until she has the answers.

I was thrilled with the first book in this series, The Calling. I enjoyed the setting and the swiftly moving plot, but most of all, I loved the character of Hazel. Her dedication, her ability to think outside the box, her compassion, her prickliness, and her sense of humor. I was hoping that I'd enjoy this next book in the series just as much, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

The game Hazel finds herself in the midst of is deviously plotted, and although the identity of the criminal is revealed about halfway through the book, this has the effect of heightening the tension, not lessening it. To top it all off, I found that I liked Hazel even more in this second book because Wolfe takes the time to add more facets to her character. I know that Hazel is getting close to retirement age, but I certainly do hope that she'll be appearing in a few more books before she hangs up her badge.


  1. Cathy - Thanks for this review. I really enjoy sleuths who aren't "run of the mill," and Hazel certainly isn't. You're right, too; just because we find out who the murderer is doesn't mean the tension and suspense go away...

  2. Thanks for sharing about this new book, Cathy. I think I have the first book in this series around here somewhere. I always like a sleuth of a "certain age" and I think that Hazel sounds like a character I could really like.

  3. I'm not familiar with this author or this sleuth, but these sound terrific. My local library has them and I've just put a hold on the first one. Thanks for helping me discover a new series.

  4. Margot-- The tension doesn't lessen in a well-written book. I have read some that resembled a balloon with a slow leak.

    Kay-- I hope you do because she certainly is a wonderful character to me. :)

    Tina-- You're very, very welcome!

  5. This does sound good. I think I'll just say "what Margot said: -- since that would have been my comment too.

  6. I like a sleuth that is a little out of the mainstream too. and then when you mentioned her sense of humor...well, I was sold.

  7. Beth-- :)

    Caite-- I hope you enjoy Hazel as much as I do.

  8. Cathy I'm thrilled to hear you loved this book. I fell in love with the character of Hazel immediately ( although her mom was a close second!) For me it's kind of fun that's it's set very close to home!

  9. Luanne-- I can see where the setting would make it that much more special. I have to admit that I liked Hazel's mum better in The Calling. She had more to say and do.


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